Liveblogging Barack Obama Pretending Martin Luther King Jr. Was A Liberal


[Update, 4:30 p.m.: Now that the live stream is over, we've added in the last few speakers from the hours-long event: John Lewis, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King III, Christine King Farris, Bernice King, and President Barack Obama.]

We are just going to jump in and start liveblogging the anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom; we wonder if it will be "divisive"?

2:59 Joining Bernice King, MLK's daughter, already in progress. Livestream Full video is at Youtube. Expect angry comments about a line a moment ago where she referred to "standing our ground" instead of "standing together" "finding common ground."

3:03 Bells are being rung from all of the locations mentioned in the "Dream" speech. The bell in Washington, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, survived the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.

3:05 Barack Obama steps to the podium and recounts the journey of those who came in 1963; equal emphasis on black and white marchers, a nice touch. But why does he keep talking about segregation?

3:15 King's "words belong to the ages" (but mostly to Republicans -- several of whom turned down invitations to speak here today Update: Make that two prominent Republicans: John Boehner and Eric Cantor. George W. Bush wanted to attend, but was unable to because he is still recovering from recent heart surgery.)

3:18 "Because they marched, America changed. Because they marched a civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, a voting rights act was signed" And the White House changed -- there you go, Mr. Limbaugh, Barry just made it all about himself. While talking about maids, porters, secretaries, and others who made today possible.

3:20 Finally, the vital "content of our character" line. But why was it not accompanied by a condemnation of affirmative action?

Nice: "The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it doesn't bend on its own."

3:22 And here comes a reminder of the full title of the 1963 march -- freedom and jobs. Decent pay, a measure of security. Yes, but didn't Martin Luther King want tax cuts for the rich?

3:24 Again with the class warfare! MLK never said anything about "the fortunate few," did he? We keep hearing he was a Republican.

3:28 "If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were some of us claiming to push for change lost our way..." We have now reached the trying-to-appease Republicans portion of the speech.

3:30 Examples of how different people can empathize with each other and stand together. But isn't just naming them a form of identity politics?

"America, I know the road will be long, but I know we can get there. Yes, we will stumble, but I know we can get back up. That's how a movement happens." A nice echo of the "mountaintop" speech.

3:34 OK, this invocation of everyday people "marching" -- it works.

3:35 Is he allowed to call the 1963 marchers Patriots? That phrase is trademarked by the Tea Party, isn't it?

3:40 And that was it -- to us, the speech was appropriate, brief, respectful, and echoing but not trying to outdo King. Waiting for Twitter-readers in the Wonkette Chatcave to relay opinions; so far, not much chatter.

Full transcript of the speech is up at WaPo.

3:44 Twitter remarkably quiet so far... we'll just have to wait and see what Peggy Noonan has to say about all this, then. We now return you to your regularly scheduled arglebargle.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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